A MESSAGE FROM THE HEAD OF DRAMA, ALISON JINGA
On Tuesday 30 October 2018, Year 9 and 10 Drama students attended a performance of the play ‘Macbeth’ at the Sydney Pop-Up Globe. Prefacing Year 10 and 11 studies in Drama, the event provided an experiential mode of reflecting upon the craft of performance. The Pop-Up Globe itself is the first full-scale working replica of the theatre built by Shakespeare and his company in 1614. This historical backdrop, made evident by the building’s architectural framing, meant students could observe and revel in a slice of history, while delighting in the production’s unique and transformative experiences.
The production itself was largely immersive. With several variations of the actor-audience relationship at play, our boys could appreciate the ways theatre could work to create intimacy or aesthetic distance. This included moments, for instance, where actors would acknowledge or directly address the audience, as well as times where the audience themselves became visually implicated in the play’s conflicts. As one boy at interval exclaimed, “I’ve never seen an audience cleaning their clothes from fake blood before!” To witness a play dragging us beneath the tide of blood and evil in broad daylight was a true testament to the Globe’s ability to recreate the horrors of Shakespeare’s tragedy without modern illumination technologies. With an atmosphere shifting between the dark, the ordinary and the outright comical, the boys had the pleasure of going on a journey with these actors to achieve some resolution.